By Han F. Vermeulen
Han F. Vermeulen explores fundamental and secondary resources from Russia, Germany, Austria, the us, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, and nice Britain in tracing how “ethnography” used to be all started as box study by way of German-speaking historians and naturalists in Siberia (Russia) during the 1730s and 1740s, was once generalized as “ethnology” by means of students in Göttingen (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) in the course of the 1770s and 1780s, and was once as a result followed through researchers in different countries.
Before Boas argues that anthropology and ethnology have been separate sciences through the Age of cause, learning racial and ethnic variety, respectively. Ethnography and ethnology centred no longer on “other” cultures yet on all peoples of all eras. Following G. W. Leibniz, researchers in those fields classified peoples essentially in response to their languages. Franz Boas professionalized the holistic learn of anthropology from the Eighteen Eighties into the 20 th century.
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Additional info for Before Boas: The Genesis of Ethnography and Ethnology in the German Enlightenment
These scholars not only discussed ethnographic details in their historical and geographical works but also outlined a study called Völkerkunde or Ethnographie (see chapter 6). History and Theory 15 Margaret T. ” Hodgen even studied “the ethnology of the Medieval Encyclopedists” (49– 77), but her use of the term “ethnology” is anachronistic. Many studies she discussed were contributions to “cosmography,” a description of the world. An influential example was the Cosmographia of the German humanist Sebastian Münster (1544), in which about forty peoples in Europe, Asia, and the New World were described.
5 Such journeys mainly served to expand trade but seafarers encountered “exotic” human beings beyond Europe and wrote valuable ethnographic reports. Others point to overland travelers like Carpini, Rubruck, and Marco Polo. During the Middle Ages merchants and missionaries, dispatched to establish relations with the Mongol rulers of China, often penned detailed reports. 6 This view links a definition of anthropology as the study of the “Other” to Romanticism, a philosophical movement of the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries that added a sentimental countercurrent to Western rationalism.
However, the other side of the debate on anthropology and colonialism—if and to what extent ethnography contributed to the Russian Empire—remains unanswered. My thesis is that anthropology was not born of colonialism (as Gough and others assert on the basis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century evidence) but developed within its context (Vermeulen 1999). If anthropology has had a symbiotic relation with colonialism, it did not evolve from it. Rather, anthropology was drawn into and advanced within these contexts; the inspiration came from other sectors of society, notably the development and diffusion of a scientific (ethnological) outlook on the world.